It’s that time of year, when we all sit down after the excesses of Christmas and start planning out our new improved selves for 2020. If you’re a parent, you probably feel a bit like me: slightly guilty about your less than ideal parenting choices in 2019. I had planned to write about my parenting highs and lows in 2019, and when I started, I found myself focusing merely on the areas I’d failed in (too much tv, too many Happy Meals, not enough time outdoors…) So I’ve given it some thought and instead… I’m going to be more positive about 2020. It’s not about what I shouldn’t be doing as a parent, but instead, what’s important to me? What can I focus on that is going to make 2020 a great year for us as a family?
I decided to take the 5 core values that are important to me in my business, because when I actually think about it, they are easily applied to my family life too. So here goes:
KNOWLEDGE: I’m a bit of a geek, I love reading up on the latest parenting studies, the neuroscience behind baby brain development, the latest breastfeeding studies and everything in between. I completely agree with that Maya Angelou quote “When we know better, we do better.” Having knowledge empowers us to make the right decisions. So this coming year, I’m going to continue studying and reading and hopefully sharing that knowledge with all of you! (Stay tuned for two new services being offered in 2020: sleep coaching, and parent coaching which promotes neurodevelopmental care in newborns.)
COMPASSION: The flip side to “knowing better, doing better” is that if you do the best that you can with the knowledge you have at the time, there is no shame in that at all. If six months down the line you realize that something else would have been a better choice, then you forgive yourself and move on. Likewise, we sometimes don’t have enough resources (support, mental/physical health) to do the right thing. Sometimes we have to make a less than perfect choice, and that’s ok too. So this coming year, I’m going to be more compassionate with myself when I can’t make the perfect choices. It’s ok to be a “good enough” parent.
ADAPTABILITY: Family dynamics and individual resources are complex. What works for my family, won’t work for yours (or be the right choice either). So in 2020 I’m going to stop comparing myself to other families who seem to be doing it better, or think I’m failing because my children aren’t fed an all organic, home made diet with zero screen time. Yes, those families might be “better” at some things, but I’m totally nailing aspects of parenting that they aren’t. I bet you’re nailing some aspects more than other parents, too!
RESPECT: I believe babies and children are tiny humans that deserve our respect and gentle care. While in my consultations I’ll always suggest approaches that are respectful, when it comes to my family I’m going to focus on this a bit more. And, actually, that *I* deserve respect too. Boundaries are good and work both ways. I deserve respect and time to meet my personal needs rather than just pouring into my family.
COLLABORATION: In my consultations I work in collaboration with a family to help them meet their goals, but in my own family, I’m going to start asking them (and by them, I mean my children!) to take on more responsibility and accountability. Yes, they’ll get consulted and involved in decision making, but I’m not going to be waiting on them hand and foot, I’m going to expect them to get more involved in helping round the house and taking ownership of their own care. Studies have shown it’s really, really good for them so I’m going to work hard on this, even though it’s usually quicker and easier just to do it myself!
So there we have it: my family goals/resolutions for 2020. Rather than writing a list of things you’re not going to do in 2020, why not think about what’s important for your family? If you like the sound of these values and you’d like to contact me for a consultation, please check out my website for more details: www.bumpsbirthbonding.co.uk/services